Summer School Alpbach 2018
Sample return from small solar system bodies
July 17-26, Alpbach/Tyrol – Austria
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THE SUMMER SCHOOL

Would you like to use engineering and/or science to solve problems that can be addressed by space missions? If yes, consider applying to the Summer School Alpbach.

This year, sixty European engineering and science students will be chosen to participate in the 42nd edition of the Summer School Alpbach, a ten-day learning opportunity held in the beautiful Austrian Alps. Participants will be engaged in an in-depth learning experience, attending stimulating lectures on various aspects of space science and engineering, and working intensely within smaller groups to define and design a space mission under the supervision of noted scientific and engineering experts within the field.

The topic of the Summer School Alpbach 2018 is “Sample return from small solar system bodies“. Students at the Alpbach Summer School 2018 will be informed about past achievements and current issues, and will be invited to propose ideas to study the solar system’s small bodies directly in situ with spacecraft and, ideally, returning samples to Earth in order to develop a much wider understanding of these small bodies, their properties, and what they can tell us about the evolution of the solar system.

Four student teams will define the scientific objectives of a space mission and will provide a preliminary end-to-end design of spacecraft, scientific instruments as well as mission and science operations that will meet their stated objectives. You and your team will be responsible for selecting and researching the problem to be addressed by your space mission, for cooperatively working with team members to meet difficult deadlines, and for developing your own working style.

You will be exposed to some real-life challenges, such as long working days (before proposal submission) and an expectation that you are able to immediately apply knowledge and techniques that you have only recently been exposed to. You will also have to handle the trials of establishing and maintaining an international and multi-disciplinary team composed of both scientists and engineers. You will need to balance scientific objectives and requirements with the realistic constraints of mission-design, spacecraft-design, and mission cost.
On day ten of the Summer School, each team presents their mission designs to a jury of experts. Occasionally, these designs have actually gone on to represent real space missions in ESA.

If you are willing to embrace the challenges and rewards of the Summer School Alpbach, we look forward to receiving your application.

Expected Learning Outcomes:
In summary, Summer School Alpbach participants ...

  • Will be invited to view space as an exciting and challenging enterprise
  • Will be challenged to overcome the trials and reap the rewards of working in an international and multi-disciplinary team
  • Will be exposed to a range of scientific topics relevant to designing space missions
  • Will learn to balance scientific objectives and requirements with the realistic constraints of mission-design, spacecraft-design, and mission cost
  • Will develop the ability to work together as a team towards the common goal of preparing presentations and reports under incredible time constraints
  • Will forge long-term friendships that might eventually evolve into professional collaborations later in life
  • Will enjoy the unique and enriching "Alpbach experience".

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